The problem with some policemen, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, is that whenever they would aim at the shoulder of a target, the bullet would usually land in the head.
“But it was a mistake, there was no intention to kill, it was a result of failure to shoot well,” said Cascolan during his visit at the Police Regional Office 6 headquarters in Iloilo a few days ago.
It was meant to be a joke but for some people who lost their relatives to sloppy shooting skills and disregard of rules of engagement, that was no laughing matter.
But Cascolan said this is a problem that they want to correct by investing more on training all policemen to shoot well as he maintained: “A policeman should be a marksman and at the same time, an investigator.”
Cascolan said they have already shipped out what he described as ‘a lot of bullets’ in order for the more than 200,000 policemen to regularly practice to improve their shooting skills, since the police profession is entrusted by the public to carry and use guns.
At Camp Crame, a marksmanship training program is now being redesigned by the Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development (DHRDD). The training program is called PN Standard Handgun Marksmanship Training for Directorial and Personal Staff and National Support Units.
One of the improvements, according to Cascolan, is to implement a 25-bullet test for each of the policemen instead of the existing eight-bullet test during the marksmanship test.
“Eight-bullet test is for marksman because it sustains what you have already learned so we are coming up with a 25-bullet test,” said Cascolan.
Cascolan emphasized the need for every policeman to shoot well since being allowed to carry guns comes with a responsibility to them properly.
“We are coming up with a 25-bullet test. And as much as possible it should be done on a monthly basis so that they will learn how to shoot, when to shoot, and where to shoot,“ said Cascolan.
DHRDD director Maj. Gen. Clifton Empiso said the PNP Training Service has started the orientation for Modified Handgun Qualification Marksmanship program.
He said the the DHRDD is expected to release the final measures and directives of the program under the new normal system.